Professional support specialists employed at NASA’s Washington DC headquarters voted overwhelmingly on August 12 to form a union. The vote was 97% in favor of partnering with the NASA Headquarters Professional Association, Local 9 of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE); 320 NASA workers were eligible to vote. “This successful vote will allow us to work with management to improve working conditions for NASA support and administrative staff here at NASA headquarters, thereby improving operations, saving money, and retaining an engaged and professional workforce,” said Tifarah Thomas, a program specialist within NASA’s Office of the Chief Health & Medical Officer. Professional support specialists at NASA headquarters include budget analysts, policy analysts, administrative specialists, secretaries, and others.
NHPA currently represents nearly 200 engineers and scientists at NASA in Washington. The combined unit, including the professional support specialists who voted today for IFPTE representation, will now represent more than 500 workers at the headquarters of America’s space agency. IFPTE also represents engineers and scientists at NASA labs and research facilities from coast-to-coast.
“We are honored that our colleagues, the professional support specialists, have chosen to join us in solidarity in our continued efforts for the fair, equitable, and respectful treatment of employees as a means to achieve NASA’s mission,” said Rhoda Hornstein, President of the NHPA, IFPTE Local 9 and an engineer at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
“We’re thrilled that the professional support specialists at NASA HQ have chosen IFPTE,” said IFPTE Secretary-Treasurer Paul Shearon. “Professional and administrative employees are increasingly seeing the value in collaborating with their colleagues in order to have a greater say in the decision-making process within the workplace, and over their careers.” photo: (l-r) Bill Loewy, Grace Reardon, Jacqueline Mackall, Pamela Barnes, Tifarah Thomas, Denise Young, LaTasha Carson, Nadine Andreassen; photo by Chris Langford